Thursday, September 17, 2015


It’s time to start thinking about heading southwest and since we had such a great beginning this year, why not retrace our steps… First stop Capital Reef National Park.  At sunset we check out the Goosenecks and Sunset Point.

The weather is cooler now (mid 90s as opposed to the low 100s.)  The baby fawns have lost their spots and the little turkeys are now almost as big as their moms.  The stone fruits have all been picked. Apples and pears are now in season.

Pleasant Creek
Cougar Tracks
Two Thousand Years
of Rock Art
We get in a great hike along Pleasant Creek.  The trail here changes with the rains.  It seems to be more of a suggestion rather than a maintained trail.  It’s hikers choice: we can hike alongside the creek and walk up over a desert landscape or just plow through the water.  We do a combination of both.  Along the way we explore the largest panel of pictographs and petroglyphs in the park.  There is over 2,000 years of art here attributed to archaic hunters and gatherers, the Fremont culture, Ute tribes and Mormon pioneers. For the entire hike we never see another person… but we did come across Cougar tracks… hungry cougars?  hmmm...

Next back track is to Escalante and the Shooting Star RV Resort.  It’s great to catch up with Troy and Michelle.  They’ve been working hard over the summer moving rocks and planting trees. The Airstream Motel is booked solid while we’re here. Couples, families and friends living riveted for a few days and catching a flick on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at the Shooting Star Drive-in.

During the day we catch some of the sites we missed last spring:

Hole in The Rock
Lake Powell at the

We finally get to the end of Hole in the Rock Road and walk up the wagon trail to the top of the ridge and look straight down to Lake Powell. It’s hard to imagine anyone willingly driving a loaded wagon down this slot between the rocks… we don’t even want to climb down this rubble trail… when does the line cross from courageous to crazy?

A Beautiful Day for a Hike
Across the river from the Shooting Star is the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park. The sun is shining when we start up the hill to the Petrified Forest trail.  At the top of the mesa we take the trail of Sleeping Rainbows down into the canyon and back up.  

Petrified Logs

The Juniper and Pinion Pine forest is littered with chunks of petrified wood. By the time we get back to the trailhead, the weather has changed.  Thundershowers are on the way; time to seek shelter.  Storms in this area are not to be underestimated.  This storm takes the lives of 7 hikers in a slot canyon in Zion N.P.
Time to seek shelter

Box Death Hollow Wilderness
Lower Box Death Hollow is a scary name for a pretty green canyon surrounded by desert. . We work our way up the canyon, zigzagging across the creek.  After a couple of hours we stop for a creek side picnic lunch and then head back down the canyon.

Saturday morning we shop at the Escalante Farmer’s market.  It’s a small market from 9 AM to Noon, with only a few vendors but we find everything we want and more.  Great baked goods, heirloom tomatoes, wild mushrooms, green veggies, melons etc…

Next it’s onto the park we missed last spring… Bryce Canyon N.P.


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